Festive Tidbits & Good Daughter Contest

 

Hi everyone!  I’ve been asked to be the guest blogger over at  The Book Reporter.  It’s a rather nostalgic piece about my Christmases as a little girl.

If you can, leave a comment there, but its okay if you can’t, because you can still comment here, and if you do, you have a chance to win an arc of my February release, The Good Daughter, plus a B&N gift card, and lots more special reader goodies.   This is my first sneak peek at The Good Daughter so its a special contest.  The winner will be announced here on my blog, before midnight, on Saturday, December 22nd, so do drop by the Book Reporter blog, read what I had to say, and then share with me one of your special Christmas memories here from when you were a child!

Saturday is also my son, Ty’s 14th birthday so we’re busy trying to figure out what to do for his day…looks like maybe it’ll be a movie, The Hobbit, and dinner in Laguna Beach.  I know he’d love to hang out with friends, but they’re all up in Bellevue, so sorry kid, this year you’re stuck with just me and family.

Hope you’re all set for the holidays.  I was so stressed the other day I could barely breathe, and then I spent a few minutes looking at the photo we took with Santa and I realized its all good…its all a gift, and a blessing, and all I need to do is slow down and appreciate the life, and the blessings, I’ve been given.

xoxoxox

108 Comments

  1. I tried posting on the other blog, couldn’t get it to work. I’ll try again later. I love books for Christmas! They are always at the top of my list, the gift I love to purchase, and what my children always receive. This year I am introducing my son to The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy, can’t wait!

  2. I tried the other blog as well and it did not work for me :(. Well I always want books, I just love them I have about 4 boxes to read and I keep collecting…lol. I just can not pass up a good story. While I do have a kindle there is just nothing like a good old fashioned book. Have a wonderful Christmas and happy birthday to your son.

  3. My mom used to let me and my brother sleep in the living room in sleeping bags with the Christmas tree lights on all night. It was so magical to smell the pine and see the twinkly lights as we would fall asleep.

  4. Jane I loved your piece. I too had those very thick glasses as a child. I also loved books. My mom would take me to the library and I would check out a huge stack. Would read them all and then it would be time for another trip. Enjoy time with your family. Merry Christmas and happy birthday to your son

  5. Looks like most people say the same thing, and I won’t disappoint! This year I’m asking for fancy tea, but as always I’ve got a list of books I want. I’ve always asked for books for Christmas. I don’t even consider how many books I have waiting to be read when I decide if it’s time to buy more, because the answer is always yes. When I was a teen, I asked for Sweet Valley High books and true crime stories, maybe a few police procedurals thrown in for good measure. When I go to B&N now, the size of the YA section astounds me, and I look around at all the covers and through the racks of books and think to myself Where were you when I was a teen? I love that kids today have so many amazing choices, but it would have been awesome to have so much YA available when I was of that age. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday–I’ll be re-reading The Good Woman in preparation for my book club’s discussion. Cheers!

  6. Happy Birthday to your son and Merry Christmas to you and your family Jane!

    My favorite Christmas memory from when I was younger was just being together with my family where we would all be together and do something fun like drive around and look at Christmas lights, go see a Christmas movie or go to the annual Christmas parade in town (even though it was always the day after Thanksgiving!). 🙂

  7. Happy holidays, Jane. One of my favorite Christmas memories as a child was when my sister, brother and I would sit at the top of the stairs and wait for our parents to wake up so we could all go downstairs and open gifts. My parents always said that no one is allowed to go downstairs on Christmas day until everyone was awake. It was brutal for us, but made the anticipation that must better 🙂

  8. What a great family Christmas pic!
    It looks like I’ll be at the theater catching The Hobbit with my niece…to celebrate my birthday. 🙂
    Growing up overseas, I remember always looking forward to the Christmas cards I would see coming from my aunts and uncles. I know we must have received letters from them during the year but the letters and cards that arrived for the holidays were always something a bit more special.

    Happy Holidays, Jane!

  9. I tried posting @other blog (not working for me) . My favorite Christmas memory is asking my Dad to have Santa bring me a stuffed animal snake. That is all I wanted that year. And sure enough I had a big stuffed snake with an orange head and green /red plaid body as one of my gifts! It was wrapped in a big shopping bag. I don’t remember what else I got that year, I only remember that snake …lol
    Have a Merry Christmas! Love your family photo!

  10. Merry Christmas Jane…can’t wait to read the next book and just so you know…you made my mom blush! 😉 LOL I got a good giggle from it!

    Thanks for creating great stories for us to enjoy!

  11. HI Jane,
    My most amazing Christmas was when I was eleven and my uncle gave me a gorgeous Artley flute! Although a flute was all I’d talked about for two years beforehand, I still never dreamed I’d open one on Christmas morning!

    Love the photo of your family. I’m sure you will have many wonderful memories in your new home. Merry Christmas!

  12. Merry Christmas to you and your family, Jane. And happy birthday to your son.

    Fondest christmas memory….I remember when I was about 7 (ish) and we were spending christmas at my Grandparents house. I was half asleep (I had tried and tried to stay awake as long as possible to see if Father Christmas was real or not). Anyway, I was nearly asleep but remember vaguely seeing the light from the door being opened and felt a chunkily filled stocking being put at the end of my bed. I never did see if it was him or not…. 😀 xxx

  13. I see over at bookreporter you posted you loved to receive books for Christmas. I do too! I received my first pair of glasses when I was in first grade!

    I remember the Christmas when I was 5 or 6. I wanted a doll baby so bad. I just knew Santa would bring me one. When all the presents were opened and there was no doll baby I was sad but still happy over the books, pj’s and candy that I did receive. I was busy looking at my books when I heard my Dad say, I think you missed a present. Not only did I get that doll baby but she was in a baby stroller! Best Christmas ever!

    Happy Birthday to your son. We plan to see the Hobbit on Christmas Day.

    Blessings!
    Judy
    (P.S. My Mother’s maiden is Porter)

  14. Beautiful book cover. I so enjoyed the Good Woman and am curious what the third book will be titled. Thanks for letting us post a comment here too as the other sight didn’t work.

  15. What a wonderful photo and you all look so happy! 🙂 I love it when something like that gets me to stop, slow down, breathe and take it all in. This season goes by so FAST.

    We saw The Hobbit last week in the Imax theater, I really liked it, but I don’t think seeing it in the imax was necessary.

    Hope Ty has a happy birthday and Merry Christmas! 🙂

  16. couldn’t comment at that site either..:( love books, anytime of the year! started my love of books when I was pretty small thanks to my Mom..she’d buy me books all the time and that started my love. Continues on to this day!

  17. Awe, what a beautiful family! Great picture of you all, I also loved your Christmas email photo of you and the boys, such handsome boys you have.

    I always have a list of books on my Christmas list, and I’m also really looking forward to The Good Daughter!

    I can’t be with my parents this Christmas and it’s making me very sad this week…I keep trying to tell myself that my mom would be driving me crazy right now if I was with them…but it is not working! Favorite memory is a Christmas when I was about 14 and I was in Hawaii with my parents and had a chance to meet Carol Burnett and have my picture taken…I used to love her show when I was a little girl!

    Merry Christmas Jane, hope you have a wonderful Christmas in your new home!!

  18. I’m the middle of three girls (and in the middle of 6 children). So of course, I’m the Good daughter! Haha.
    Christmas was always filled with lots of fun in my house as we were growing up and I tried to do the same for my children as they were growing, too. Now, I work at doing it for my 6 grand children.

  19. I’m half Korean and, growing up, our holidays were always about food! We would have a house full of people and we always had turkey and all the sides on one complete side of the counter and on the other, was all of my favorite Korean dishes. My mom passed away in Sept so her not being here is still so completely new to me. I miss her every day!

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and love and hold your family tight!

  20. I love your Christmas memories. I too, love getting books for Christmas. Some of my favorite memories are being with my family on Christmas Eve and getting to open one present that night. On Christmas day, we would have cinnamon rolls in the morning and open up presents and then later on more of the family would come visit and we would eat together and play football in the front yard. I have very fond memories of Christmas time during my childhood.

  21. My father was a teacher and then principal when we (I’m the oldest of 7 kids) were young and every year we would get a pile of books in addition to the toys, games and clothes we would get. The books would be ones from series we read or new-to-us authors that we might enjoy. I loved that tradition and it’s one that I hope one day to pass on to my children.

    I hope you have a great holiday season and am looking forward to reading your newest book!

  22. Happy birthday to your son! One memory is when we opened all the presents before Christmas, so there was nothing under the tree Christmas Day.

  23. Merry Christmas to you and your family!! My best Christmas memories are from when my kids were toddlers. The way their eyes lighted up see what was under the tree. Magical!!

  24. Merry Christmas, Jane!

    You have a beautiful family. Speaking of beautiful, love, love, love your book cover! Stunning!

    Cheers!

  25. Merry Christmas Jane! I am hoping to get a copy of your book for Christmas. Christmas has always been a time to receive beautiful hard cover books as gifts. I continue by giving them to my friends for gifts.

  26. Happy Birthday Ty! As a December Birthday (mine is today,) I know how hard it is and to want to spend it with your friends. I am sure Jane that you will make it a special day. I wish I could celebrate with friends too, but most of mine live all over the place now. My Mom always kept the Birthday special and seperate and we have always had a little celebration in June for my half Birthday, no presents but a special little extra something, usually dinner and a movie.

    I do Love Christmas! I would say that one of my most favorite memories is when I was 5,(my mom and I lived with my grandparents until I was 7)and we had tons of relatives over for Christmas Eve and exchanged gifts with Aunts and Uncles, etc. My Grandma always did all the cooking and my Grandpa was in charge of the music, festive Christmas Carols mixed with a little Elvis Gospel. That Christmas we hadn’t had any snow (strange for Indiana)and I remember going to sleep that night and asking for snow for Christmas. When I woke up Christmas morning, it had started snowing. It made me believe that Santa really does hear our requests even if they are at the last minute. I am sure the adults weren’t so thrilled with the snow though. I guess I should say that year one of my uncles had tried to tell me Santa wasn’t real…..I showed him!

    I love traditions, and really miss those big family gatherings.

    Merry Christmas Jane and family!

    Kim

    PS, the other blog wouldn’t let me comment either.

  27. Hi Jane,

    Like your son, I have a close to Christmas birthday and yes I did think all the hoopla was for me. My brother set me straight when I was five. He’s still a killjoy and know it all.

  28. I have a January birthday.. My favorite Christmases were the ones where I didn’t get a joint Christmas/Birthday gift…. They didn’t come from my parents.. but other relatives who didn’t want to mail 2 gifts a month apart.

  29. Well after what’s been in the news lately you should all hug each other and be so happy you are all together for the holiday and any day of the week.. I almost hate to turn the news on lately, so turning to a good book is a good way to relax and escape from real life for a while..so i hope i’m lucky and get a great present for xmas…happy holidays to you all…..

  30. We used to go to my granparents house for Christmas dinner, with all my cousins, and aunts and uncles. At night, other friends would come, and my Mom would play the piano, and everyone would sing Christmas carols. When I was older, dinner was at my parents, and at night all the relatives, and our friends would come to my parents. It was so much fun.

  31. I was unable to post on the other blog too. My favorite Christmas memories from when I was little were bundling up and going to watch the Christmas parade. I hope Ty has a good birthday even if his friends are still in Bellvue. I hope you and your family have a fabulous Christmas!

  32. I love getting and giving books at Christmas (and other times) as well! This year I gave my husband a huge list of books I want 🙂 And every Christmas my mom gives each of us (kids, kids-in-law, grandkids) at least one book. And I always give my daughter and nephews at least one book for Christmas (last year my daughter got almost a dozen!) I think I’ve passed on my love of reading to her!
    Merry Christmas to you and your family!
    (I tried commenting on the other site, but it wouldn’t let me.)

    1. Forgot to share a Christmas memory: when we were little, my parents always had one of their friends dress up as Santa, who would stop by sometime Christmas Eve and we would have our picture taken with him!

  33. My son’s birthday is the 11th. When he was younger he hated it being so close to Christmas…. Hope people don’t do what they did to him…here’s your birthday and Christmas together.
    Hope you all have a great time.
    Happy Birthday to Ty.
    And Merry Christmas to all of you.

  34. Happy holidays Jane,

    Loved your story over at Book Reporter. I have alot of great memories of the christmas eves and christmas days when I was growing up. christmas eve was always at a aunt’s house with santa coming at the end with us kids asking is he coming yet. it’s a joke in our family that over the years Santa has showed up earlier and earlier with each grp of kids in the family my sister & cousins had to wait later than me And the ones younger than I am it was earlier and the small ones now I think he comes right after dinner and before dessert. I’m sure it has to do with everyone else pushing because they want to go home. now it’s at my cousin’s (aunt’s daughter) christmas day was always at my house (my parents). it used to be more company all day then it is now. Now it’s just family it used to be both sides family, friends and neighbor’s. And my parents would start cooking days in advance. alot of good memories.

  35. I’ve tried to comment on the other blog but I’ve had trouble doing so for two days now. Very frustrating!!
    TY for being so generous with your giveaway!!
    I’ve always loved going Light Seeing!! I adore all my ornaments as each one is put on the tree. Every year my family and friends come over with a new ornament. My hubby and I have bought one for each. other ever since we were dating. That’s over 21yrs of ornament gifting!! No they all don’t make it on the tree anymore but it’s so much fun to choose which ones and to leave room for new ones!!

  36. For me, Christmas is not a huge spending fest of a holiday. My kids usually get 1 or 2 “cool”
    things they want and the rest are practical useful things like socks, clothes etc. I refuse to shop in stores very much any more as online shopping is soooo convenient. Happy Birthday to your son Ty (I know it is difficult to “connect” with older boys as I have 2 teen boys and a toddler boy!) I am sure
    you are a great mom!!
    Merry Christmas to you and your family! I can’t wait for some snowy cold days to read some of your new books!!! Nicole

  37. I love your family photo with Santa! my favorite memories are being with my grandparents. my grandfather died last month and he was my ‘dad’ so i am holding tight to those memories this yer.

  38. I love your christmas card! Happy birthday to Ty! Hope he has a wonderful day on saurday,whatever you decide to do as a family! I’m still busy baking and making fresh pasta for I decided to send some fresh pasta to my dad,not gonna stress out if I don’t get everything done for its spending time with family and friends thats so important. I’ve been asking for books and I usually don’t get what I want.So I usually go to the bookstore and buy them myself. I tried to comment on the reporter but couldn’t..anyways,I would get disappointed if I didn’t get want I wanted but life is too short but usually would get books which I loved and my favorite group(music)This year willbe just the kids and I so I’m gonna make fresh pasta and meatballs switch things up…a nice salad and bread and a glass of wine…so thats my christmas plans…have a wonderful christmas with your family,love to win your book!

  39. I, too, am a book giver. For holidays, for birthdays, for just because you are my friend. Wishing you and all your family a very happy holiday season.

  40. I hope you have a wonderful day with your 14 year-old! Mine started school this year on his 14th b’day, then he had a baseball tournament in Las Vegas a few weeks later, so that is how we celebrated his birthday!I love your Christmas card – and I can NOT WAIT until your next book comes out because I am headed to AZ & OK in February for a meeting & visit and hope to bring copies to my friends! Happy a wonderful holiday season Jane – we miss you up here! XOXO

  41. Merry Christmas Jane. You have wonderful memories from Christmas past, and I know you are making wonderful memories for your kids each year. I always enjoyed leaving Santa presents out for the kids. My favorite time at Christmas was leaving them out at night and then hearing my kids go out into the living room to see what Santa brought them overnight. I’ve always also loved Christmas stockings, and filling them up. There is something about a full stocking that I like. Happy Holidays!

  42. Oh my gosh- what great memories you brought up! I remember getting Trixie Belden + Sweet Valley High books for gifts when I was a teen. I just googled them because I couldn’t remember their full titles.

    Happy Birthday to your Ty!

  43. Hi again Jane!! I LOVE this picture! I sincerely wish you and your family a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS …. and a Happy and healthy New Year!

  44. I can’t wait to read The Good Daughter. I loved waking up extra early when I was a child. One of my favorite memories as a child was getting a puppy. We could here him barking when he came in the door.

  45. Happy Birthday to your son and Merry Christmas.

    My friend told me Hobbit is really great movie so I can’t wait to wacth it soon

    Book is always a great gift to me

    Btw the cover looks so lovely 🙂

  46. Loved reading your Christmas memories, Jane. Books were my favorite Christmas gift when I was a child…and they still are! Nothing else compares to the cozy warmth of reading a good book that transports you to a different time or place!

  47. Me too..i love books. as you said in the other blog “a gift card to a store is not the same thing as an actual book purchased, inscribed and wrapped in festive paper”..i feel the same..A package from Authors with books inside is kindda different with a package from Book depository 😀 And i think i understand that’s why i’ve always feel special when i received a package (and more) from you, Jane !

    Happy Birthday to your son, Ty xoxoxo

    and Hugs to you. love the pic with Santa !

  48. What a beautiful picture and Happy birthday Ty!
    I am all done shopping for gifts and am now ready to enjoy my time off work and ready to READ!
    Enjoy your first Christmas in your new home with your family .
    Wishing you all the Best !

  49. I tried to post also and couldn’t. Happy Birthday to Ty and Merry Christmas to you and your family. I didn’t get many books growing up but my fondest memories is going to my grandmother’s house on Christmas for dinner. She had about fifty grandchildren and she gave each of a small piggy bank with a 25 cents in it every year. I will never forget those piggies and they were always wrapped it white tissue paper with red curly ribbon. I think back now as to how much time she spent wrapping all of those piggy banks. It brings back a lot of great memories.

  50. Of course I also love books as gifts, but everyone has a hard time buying something I really want AND don’t already have – when they do, they always feel so proud!!

    I don’t have a lot of fond Christmas memories when I was a child, but I do recall the first year my son knew what Christmas was, what to expect, and that was very special.

  51. “Happy 3-days-before-Christmas Birthday”, Ty! Isn’t it great to have such happiness and festive lights decorating whatever city you happen to be in during your birthday month?! Okay, I know the downside, too:one card and one gift to cover both events! My birthday is 3 days after Christmas…my Husband’s is the day before mine (but, now we have too cupcakes instead of sharing a cake!) Congratulations, Jane on having probably your greatest Christmas present ever 14 years ago. Christmas in my early days was full of wonder and sleepless “night-befores”. One of my most memorable times was actually my 8th birthday when I woke up and there was a package of 10Golden Books from my Parents at the foot of my bed! They were all for me!!! I even got to stay in bed that morning and read them. Merry Christmas to all.

    1. After having written my comments here, I read your article on The Book Reporter but couldn’t log in. Thanks for the enjoyable article and for introducing us to this blog.

  52. Happy 14th Birthday Ty! The boys are getting so big. I just sent out my Christmas cards, hopefully you’ll get it before you leave for Hawaii. I wasn’t able to comment on the other blog either. And, as I take a break from doing homework with my son to read your blogs, he is laying in front of our fireplace; although, instead of reading, he’s playing on his ipad lol…one of my favorite Christmas memories is reading The Night Before Christmas every Christmas Eve with my brothers and sister. I am the oldest and I think we did this up until my freshman or sophomore year in high school:)
    Love ya,
    Stephanie

  53. I tried posting on the other blog, couldn’t get it to work. I’ll try again later. I love books for Christmas as well and really enjoyed your post and the picture of your family. merry Christmas.

  54. Loved the BookReporter.com interview!!! I was the same–reading books to slow time down. I also asked for books, too, until my mom gave me Agatha Christie when I had most specifically asked for the Nancy Drew Files. Epic disappointment (that I have never let her forget).

    My favorite Christmas memories as a child are many, but maybe my favorite is staying in my room until Christmas was staged and then coming out to candles lit, fire burning, carols caroling, and stockings filled. I try to do the same for our own wee ones now that I’m the magicmaker. :o)

  55. Well I’m going to cheat a little bit and tell you my favorite Christmas story from when I was an adult. My dad died on Christmas morning when I was 8 so I really don’t have any good childhood memories of Christmas. My favorite Christmas was my first Christmas with my daughter. She was 9 months old and was so amazed by the tree and all the decorations. We had to help her open her gifts but it was a wonderful Christmas for me. Happy Birthday to your son and I hope all of you have a wonderful and safe holiday season.

  56. I couldn’t post a comment on the Readers’ Blog, so I posted on FB and now here! Books are always the best kind of present to get. Some of my favorite Christmas presents as a kid were books. Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm and all the Laura Ingalls Wilder books were much anticipated additions.

    Shopping is done, wrapping almost done, now I just have to make jam. If I don’t make jam, then we might have a mutiny in my family! Blessings to you and yours, Jane.

  57. My favorite Christmas memory was that of my granny before she passed away when I was seven. One of the last gifts that I remember her giving me was that of a tea set so I could have tea parties with my stuffed animals.

  58. A Very Merry Christmas to you and your family!

    One of my favorite things from childhood was having the dog sleep upstairs on the bed on Christmas eve. Normally, she’d be in the kitchen. But for that one night, had to let her upstairs to keep her out of Santa’s way.

  59. One of my favorite memories was when me and my brother were allowed to open our presents at midnight instead of waiting for Christmas morning. We were so excited. Merry Christmas.

  60. Hi Jane! I love the cover for The Good Daughter and cant wait to read it! My favorite memories are spending Christmas vacation with my grandparents setting up the tree and putting up lights.I hope you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

  61. I’ve been reading since the age of three. 25 years later, I still love to do it. And it has nothing to do with time.

    I too love getting books as gifts. I’m not so stringent when it comes to gift cards, but I have noticed I tend to agonize over which book(s) to buy with them.

    I hope you have a Merry Christmas!

  62. Hi Jane,

    Just loved the interview. It made me smile 🙂
    One special Christmas memory is one of the bad situations turns out to be a good one.

    I always sings one Christmas Eve for everybody else but this special Christmas our car broke down the day before Christmas but I still wanted to go and sing so my sister and I hoped on our bikes and rowed around for miles and miles and yes there was lots of snow, but when we finally was done and it was time for Christmas dinner we where so hungry and ate a hole lot more than on a normal Christmas and my mother was so glad that we had such a great appetite since she had spent so many hours in the kitchen.

    I love the picture of all of you with Santa. It´s a great one.

    Merry Christmas

  63. Lovely picture of the family. I love to read, one of my favourite activities. I agree with you, reading allows me to dream. My dad loved to read, a book was always a sure bet for a present that he would appreciate, and I guess I got the love of it from him. Merry Christmas Jane.

  64. Wha beautiful memories! I tried commenting in The Book Reporter but for some bizzare reason it just would not let me! Anyway, I too have wonderful traditions that I look forward to every year and treasure as a child; leaving cookies and milk for Santa (the next day they would be half-eaten; going a’carrolling with my siblings and having delicious eggnogg are just some of the amazing things we used to do as children. Now that Im a mom, I will try to pass these traditions on to my daughter…

  65. I’m looking forward to this book. I loved the Good Woman! My sister and I began reading, sharing and recommending books since i was around 12 and she was 15 or so. We are now in our 40’s and continue to do so.

  66. Thank you for sharing your memories. There are always so many – putting the Angel on top of the Christmas tree would be amongst my favorites.

  67. After announcing that I would be a reporter when I grew up, my mother got me a typewriter for Christmas. I always appreciated her believing in my dream.

  68. Fantastic photo, Jane! Some of my favorite Christmas memories were when my dad would drive me, my mom and my sister around on Christmas Eve looking at all of the beautiful lights in the area. I also loved hearing Perry Como sing, Home for the Holidays. My mom played his album over and over. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  69. Hi Jane,
    We used to pile in the car in our pajamas and look at Christmas lights. Then home for Christmas cookies. Now I spend an entire day baking and give it all away. Merry Christmas!!!

  70. Good Morning Jane,
    Looking forward to reading The Good Daughter, can’t wait. I remember receiving a life size bride doll from my parents when I was about 8 years old and to this day that was my favourite all time Christmas present!
    Merry Christmas!!

  71. I can’t wait for the next installment in the series, The Good daughter.
    I remember when I got my first BIG book I was 7 years old and I was given a copy of Black Beauty for Christmas.
    Merry Christmas!
    Tell Ty Happy Birthday for me 🙂

    Heads up on The Hobbit Movie.
    My daughters have seen the movie. My youngest (21) has seen it twice once 2D and once in 3D. It you see The Hobbit in 3D you get to see the new Star Trek trailer.:)
    But it you have trouble with motion sickness stick to the 2D version.

  72. I couldn’t get the comment thingy on the Book Reporter Blog to work.
    Just wanted to let you know I did read it and you had lovely Christmas’s as a child, Jane.

  73. Happy birthday to your son. You really do have beautiful children!

    I’m anxiously awaiting the release of your next book. I would love to win an ARC.

    I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a happy new year.

  74. Jane,

    I cannot wait to read The Good Daughter!! Very excited to see what happens 🙂 Happy Birthday to son Ty!

    Enjoy your Christmas Jane! Your picture with Santa is so great…What a beautiful family you have.

    Cindy

  75. Saturday is my son’s birthday too but he turns 22. What a crazy year that was, having a baby a few days before Christmas. Happy Birthday to Ty!When I was a kid I remember getting up early, really early, to see what Santa brought. My brother was two years younger than me so we would sneak down and gaze at the presents wondering what they could be. We weren’t allowed to touch them but we were allowed to look in our stocking and take out anything in there. My mother cleverly left magazines or comics so we would read them instead of waking my parents.

  76. Gorgeous photo and beautiful memories! I too remember many afternoons in front of a fire with a book. My favorite memories are when my Uncle Leo came to visit us each year from MN. He was a bachelor and we’d pick him up from the airport on Christmas morning. He’d always help us put together all our toys 🙂

  77. That is the sweetest picture of your “guys and a girl” family! Thank you so much for sharing it with us. You are right to just pause and count your blessings. As Julian of Norwich said, “All will be well.”

  78. My favorite memory is baking cutout Christmas sugar cookies. My mom would let my sister and I each invite one friend to come over and help and we would spend hours cutting out, baking and decorating cookies. Where I grew up we ususally had snow on the ground and this is the only week out of the year that I miss it!
    Have a wonderful Christmas with your beautiful family!

  79. Happy Birthday Ty!
    Growing up with 7 brothers and sisters Christmas was wild but wonderful. My dad used to get two trees at the cheap lot and put them together to make one perfect tree. He made me a doll house one year and I was thrilled with what Santa had brought me! Older brothers spilled the beans and took away my belief in Santa, but when it lasted it was a magical time.

  80. What wonderful childhood memories! I love your family picture! So beautiful! We, too have children who celebrate birthdays around Christmas. A daughter right before and our son right after. What a magical time it is for us and them.

    Happy Birthday Ty! Have a great birthday!

  81. Oh, I am hoping to receive ” The Twelve Tribes of Hattie” for Christmas. No reading before Christmas, I’m way too busy but I hope I can enjoy a week of reading that is totally carefree! LOL!

    Merry Christmas Jane!

  82. Good evening, all!

    I have had a wonderful day with my boy on his birthday (went out for breakfast, and then saw the musical The Addams Family at 2 pm in Costa Mesa and then home to meet family for dinner in Laguna followed by cake and presents. Tired!) and before I go to bed I want to announce the winner for the galley and goodies.

    And the winner is…

    #72 Jessica L

    Jessica L….please, pretty please, get your address to me pronto so I can make sure you get your arc out in the mail before I leave for Hawaii.

    And everyone else…I’ve got a couple more chances in January for you to win a sneak peek at the new novel.

    Thanks to all of you for chiming in, and being great friends. I hope your holidays will all be very happy!
    xoxox

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